It’s safe to say that some of our lawmaker neighbors in Louisiana have been experiencing some buyer’s remorse since approving a school voucher scheme designed to funnel millions of dollars away from public schools to private and parochial schools earlier this month.
The buyer’s remorse is not because of finances. You can read about the high cost of vouchers and the harm they inflict on education in our post from last week. No, the regret some Louisiana lawmakers have been feeling comes from the realization that if you’re going to set up a voucher system and open it up to private schools, you have to open it to all private schools, not just the private schools you like. Somehow this little fact seems to have escaped some Louisiana officials who supported the plan because, well, we’ll let the Associated Press tell you:
Rep. Kenneth Havard, R-Jackson, objected to including the Islamic School of Greater New Orleans in a list of schools approved by the education department to accept as many as 38 voucher students. Havard said he wouldn’t support any spending plan that “will fund Islamic teaching.”
“I won’t go back home and explain to my people that I supported this,” he said.
Ah, so now you have a problem with vouchers. Figures. The Islamic School of Greater New Orleans has since withdrawn from the voucher program, putting an end to the issue … until next time, of course:
“It’ll be the Church of Scientology next year,” said Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin.
Or the Mormon church, or the Hindus, or the Sikhs, or the Jedi. Really, it could be anyone next year. And that would be a difficult situation to explain away — yes, Rep. Havard?